Head injuries, including traumatic brain injury (TBI), commonly lead to civil lawsuits in cases where negligence is involved. Some of the causes of head injury claims that we see include car accidents, truck accidents, slip or trip and falls, premises liability accidents, and pedestrian accidents.
With news of Bog Saget’s tragic and untimely death due to a reported head trauma making headlines recently, we spoke with a doctor regarding what to do after a head injury, what symptoms can indicate a serious problem that requires immediate medical attention, and what an examination to rule out any long-term effects may entail. We’ll also review how to file a personal injury civil claim seeking financial damages if your head trauma was sustained due to another’s negligence or carelessness.
Head Trauma Injuries from a Medical Perspective
Dordulian Law Group (DLG) spoke with Dr. Sasan Massachi, a primary care concierge physician and preventative medicine specialist in Beverly Hills, who provided some important information regarding head trauma injuries.
– What are the most common causes of head injuries or traumatic brain injury (TBI)?
“There are a number of scenarios that can cause head injuries. Certainly car accidents, sports accidents, and skiing accidents are common. We also see a lot of slip and falls, often due to patients being intoxicated and accidentally suffering a fall as a result. Or, sometimes patients feel lightheaded right after waking up and getting out of bed – it’s not uncommon to see someone who has just hit their head on the bed post or fallen into a closet or wall. And, of course, slipping either in or when getting out of the shower is a common cause of head injuries.”
– Is it a general rule that patients should always seek treatment after a head injury?
“It’s always recommended that you seek treatment after a head injury of any kind because a qualified physician can conduct an examination and look for warning signs that can be alarming in the first 48-72 hours post-injury. That’s really the most critical time in terms of symptoms manifesting with head injuries. And it’s unfortunate, but some patients are often reluctant to seek medical care after an accident leading to a head injury because they don’t realize how important a simple exam can be in terms of preventing any serious or long-lasting damage.”
– Should you go to the emergency room immediately or is it okay to wait and follow-up with a primary care physician the next day?
“It usually depends on the force of the trauma, but it’s also important to note how you’re feeling afterward. If you’re feeling okay following a minor head trauma then it’s probably okay to wait until the next day to see your physician – but definitely follow-up that day. If it’s moderate or major trauma, you should absolutely go to the emergency room immediately.”
– What are the warning signs that patients should look out for after a head injury?
“The number one symptom that I look for when there’s blunt force head trauma is lethargy, so extreme tiredness and fatigue – basically feeling as though you need to sleep constantly. Another concerning sign is nausea, and also vomiting – when you have bleeding in the brain your body typically reacts by vomiting, so that’s another major sign to look for. Other symptoms include severe headaches and increased intracranial pressure, which can cause blurry vision or changes in the vision, that’s also a really important sign.”
– What’s the procedure when you see a patient with a head trauma?
“Usually if someone has a blunt head trauma you do a comprehensive medical history, asking them questions about the incident and also review how they’re feeling overall, their faculties, etc. You want to tease out whether or not the patient is displaying any of those alarm signs in terms of symptoms. You also ask about possible concussion symptoms that could be experienced afterward, which can actually last several weeks following a head trauma. Then a full neurological exam should be performed to make sure that the patient is what’s known as ‘neurologically intact.’ Based on a patient’s neurological exam and comprehensive medical exam, a physician will decide if imaging of the brain via a CT scan and/or an MRI is appropriate.”
– Should you not go to sleep after a head trauma?
“As far as not going to sleep, that recommendation stems from the fact that if you have a major head trauma in different areas of your brain, then you could possibly have a bleed and not realize it. In these cases, it’s often hard to assess symptoms when a patient is sleeping, so that’s the major concern. I see this sort of thing a lot in elderly patients who are on certain medications that can increase the risk of bleeding, such as blood thinners. With a moderate trauma, patients on blood thinners can have a bleed and they might not notice. So when you hear anecdotally about how you shouldn’t go to sleep after a head injury, that’s the main issue. But most young adults who have mild to moderate head trauma don’t necessarily fall into that category unless they’re having certain symptoms from the onset.”
– Are subdural hematoma injuries more common than people realize?
“There are different areas of the brain that can bleed from a blunt head trauma, and this usually depends on whether or not a patient is on blood thinners. Older patients commonly suffer subdural hematomas after head injuries because of blood thinners. But there can also be specific types of brain bleeds based on whether you suffer the trauma or injury on the side of your head versus the front of your head. So different areas of the brain that suffer trauma can cause different types of bleeds. But usually the symptoms are pretty similar – if there’s a bleed in the brain, patients tend to have either a severe headache, like the worst headache of one’s life, or they can have delayed nausea and vomiting later that night. And again, lethargy or extreme fatigue is something to really pay attention to – being extremely tired for really no reason after a head injury is something that shouldn’t be ignored. And changes in neurological status like slurred speech, changes in the contour of one’s face, difficulty speaking, numbness or weakness, changes in motor or sensory functions in extremities – these are all alarm signs that we look for and can signal a real emergency where the patient should go to the hospital right away for an evaluation.”
– Have there been many advancements in terms of how head injuries are treated?
“Head injuries are a really complex medical issue even today, because although someone who has mild to moderate trauma might not be experiencing any bleeding or any of the alarm signs we look out for, they could still get what’s known as post-concussion syndrome which can involve fatigue, headaches, brain fog, inability to exercise, inability to focus, etc. And this can last for several weeks after a head injury, so it’s a major issue that we deal with. From an advancement in technology standpoint, nowadays getting a CT scan of the head to rule out a brain bleed is very easy and can actually be done as an outpatient. So you don’t necessarily have to go the emergency room to get the proper imaging done that can rule out anything serious. But I think it goes back to a patient’s medical history, the last time they had a physical, etc., to see if a CT or MRI is even necessary. I would say that for the majority of people, especially younger people who aren’t on any maintenance medications that could cause bleeding, acute imaging is usually not required unless there’s a major trauma to the head. So it’s primarily a clinical evaluation that’s needed after a head trauma, and from there you and your physician will decide what to do moving forward based on any symptoms.”
Negligence in Head Trauma Injury Claims
When car accidents or other scenarios lead to head injuries and the cause is negligence or carelessness, the injured victim may wish to pursue a civil claim to recover financial compensation for various types of losses.
At DLG, our more than 25 years of personal injury law experience includes successfully handling various types of head trauma claims. From car accident brain injury or TBI claims to slip and fall head trauma cases and pedestrian accidents involving blunt force trauma, DLG will fight to help you recover the maximum financial compensation you deserve.
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Statistics
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) claims are actually much more common than people realize. Below are some important statistics on TBIs in the United States.
- Each day, at least 138 people in the U.S. are killed as a result of head trauma that includes TBI.
- Falls represent the most common type of TBIs reported between 2006 and 2010 in the U.S.
- 81% of TBIs in adults 65 and older are caused by falls.
What Damages May be Recoverable After Head Trauma?
Personal injury civil claims are often brought when head trauma occurs due to negligence. By filing a civil lawsuit, injured victims may be able to recover financial compensation for a number of compensatory damages.
Such common TBI or head trauma claim damages may include:
- Hospital expenses
- Ongoing medical care costs
- Physical therapy or rehabilitation expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Diminished quality of life
The specific circumstances of an injured victim’s claim, including the degree of negligence, severity of trauma, and overall impact on quality of life, can affect which damages may be recovered. Additionally, the overall value of a personal injury, TBI, or head trauma claim may be impacted by negligence and severity.
Contact a Los Angeles, California, TBI Lawyer Today
DLG is led by Sam Dordulian, a former Deputy District Attorney for Los Angeles County with more than 25 years of experience helping injured victims secure justice and recover maximum financial compensation through civil claims. DLG’s dedicated team of personal injury and TBI lawyers have helped clients recover more than $100,000,000 in settlements and verdicts while maintaining a 98% success record.
If you believe you have a personal injury case and wish to pursue a claim, don’t hesitate to contact our award-winning expert attorneys online or by phone today.
To speak with a head trauma or TBI injury lawyer for a free, confidential, and no obligation consultation, contact DLG today at 818-322-4056. We’re here to serve as your dedicated legal advocates and will fight aggressively on your behalf to secure a maximum financial damages award via a settlement or verdict.
Personal injury civil claims typically have a two-year statute of limitations in California, meaning the injured victim must file a claim within two years of the accident occurring. In cases brought against government or public entities, the statute of limitations may be much shorter, perhaps only six months.
Accordingly, DLG’s car accident and personal injury attorneys urge injured victims to file claims as soon as possible to ensure evidence is preserved and cases have the best chance of reaching a successful conclusion.
If you’ve been injured due to someone else’s negligence or carelessness, get the justice and financial compensation you need to make a full recovery by contacting DLG today.